Special Forces Mi-8 Helicopter- AMTSh-VN Makes First Flight

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The Mi-8 AMTSh-VN, which the Russian MoD calls as the World’s ‘most armed and most protected military transport helicopter,’ made its first flight today.

The MoD’s TV channel, tvzvezda.ru showed exclusive footage of the first flight of the newest modification of the Mi-8 helicopter – AMTSh-VN, created specifically for the needs of special forces.

It is an extreme modernization of the venerable Mi-8 helicopter making it an attack helicopter capable of transporting fully equipped troops and eliminating the need for attack helicopters to escost the troop-carrying Mi-8 in delicate missions.

The purpose of the first flight is to test the range of radio communications, equipment and navigation, a report accompanying the footage says.

The Mi-8  AMTSh-VN demonstrated an ability to move sideways; made possible, among other things, by the new design of the main rotor – with blades made of composite materials. Also AMTSh-VN is capable of accelerating up to 270 kilometers per hour, which is 30 times faster than the base version of the Mi-8.

It is nicknamed the “Spetsnaz Turntable,” today’s flight took place exactly 60 years after the “original” Mi-8 took off. Spetsnaz means special forces in Russian.

The Mi-8  AMTSh-VN based on the latest modification of the Mi-8AMTSh-V military transport helicopter  , which features new Klimov VK-2500-03 gas turbine engines, a more powerful TA-14 auxiliary power unit and an updated avionics package, according to Russian Helicopters.

The test helicopters features pylons for carrying missiles- three on either wing. In addition, the AMTSh-VN is expected to come equipped with machine-gun mounts and infra red and other sensors for providing situational awareness for landing fully equipped special forces soldiers in hostile environments.

The AMTSh-VN is protected against small arms and has counter-measures to deflect missiles.